Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Go, Sam, go!

Samuel Assinewai, who hails from Aundeck Omni Kaning, is currently skating stateside when he laces up for the Flint Firebirds who play in the Ontario Hockey League; he is an “import!” Already having made the Sudbury Cubs of the NOJHL, Sam got called up to the Ontario ‘Show’ in Michigan. Confused? Not Sam, obviously, as he already made his presence felt on the Firebirds’ squad. In his first four pre-season games he already has a goal and four assists for a whopping five points and in his rookie year notwithstanding! This puts him in a tie for third place in team scoring at this point! 

Now that the regular season has started, the Firebirds got off to a great start blanking their stateside rival Erie Otters 3 – zip. Keep up the hard work, Samuel!

NOJHL to the limit?!

It is also awesome to consider that Little Current’s Billy Biederman (Sudbury Cubs) and Mindemoya’s Liam Bridgeman (Espanola Express) as they toil for their positions as rookies in the NOJHL and are also trying to break into the “O” rank and they will definitely be considered if they keep up with their great pre-season efforts.

As far as a northern rendezvous that might pit all three against one Manitoulin battle royale, that might not ever happen. Of course, these elite players may be called to a myriad of options even though the official season has not even started. Billy and Liam did meet up this past Thursday with another win for the Liam’s Express over Billy’s Greater Sudbury Cubs 4 – 2. The Express then lost a nail biter 2 – 1 against the Blind River Beavers on Friday. On Sunday, the Express hosted the Elliott Lake Redwings for a match but the Wings spoiled the Express home-stand with a 7 – 3 tally. Liam has not been able to test his lazer-accurate shot too much but continues to provide physical and fast support on both ends of the rink. The points are coming, Liam, keep up the hard work!

The Sudbury Cubs were just as busy this weekend with a 5 – 4 win over the Elliott Lake Redwings. Billy scored a goal and added a helper for the win. On Sunday it was the Cubs’ turn to play the tough Beavers. The score was 2 – 1 Beavers after the first period and that is the way it stayed. By the way Mr. Biederman now has 3 goals, 3 assists for 6 points and a healthy 0.55 pts/game. Liam and Billy’s teams are set to square off this Friday, October 15, closest to both their home-towns, in Espanola with a 7:30 puck-drop. Go, Island boys!

Aurel does it again!

Aurel Fox-Recollet of Sudbury, with Wiikwemkoong ties, finished 5th out of 32 runners in the 12km Apex Warrior Trail Race on September 25. His time was an impressive 1:26.40. The course was held at the Lake Laurentian site in Sudbury and consisted of hills, sharp rocks, clay and narrow trails. Way to go, Aurel!

Fall Youth Soccer

It is amazing to see that volunteers are going the extra kilometre to provide activities for kids. As has been the case for much of the summer this group has been providing soccer, basketball and even Nerf wars in Providence Bay. There are still two slots left for Saturday morning soccer, October 16 and 23 from 10 am to noon. 

Ice, ice baby!

Gerard Baibomcowai, who is always on the pulse of Wiikwemkoong sports, recently posted a picture of first-ice in the Thunderdome! It is always a thing of beauty, but after the last two years of disruption, it is that much sweeter. The first use was just some gentle blades of a free kids’ skate on last Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

Positive wishes for Price!

Once again, Carey Price has proven himself a great leader in yet another way. The star goaltender of the Montreal Canadiens has often propped up at times a hapless team to bring them farther into the playoffs than they might have deserved. He has been a positive role-model and spokesman for Indigenous people. His latest mark of courage was to enter into the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to get some help with his mental health. Hab’s Captain Brendan Gallagher gave an impassioned interview on the announcement and relayed some of the extreme pressure Carey was under and that now he needed everyone to understand that the team needs to pull together and support Price. Carey’s wife Angela hopes his decision can communicate the importance of putting ‘your mental health first.’ Being strong can appear in many different ways. Carey is showing yet another, be well!

A good sport is good for sports